Seriously, Racism Still Exist?

January 28, 2008 at 9:09 pm 12 comments

Disclaimer: The nature of this post contains some racial and perhaps unfortunately language. Though it is not my language, I want to warn you before hand that the contents of this post are unfortunate but are reality.

Recently, my church was vandalized. Actually, my church has been vandalized twice in the past 4 months. Each of these incidents have taken place on a Saturday night, seemingly so that the results could be discovered on Sunday morning. Each of these incidents have resulted in someone, writing things on our property. The first time (back in October) someone wrote “Nigger Lovers” on our windows and on one of our brick walls. The last incident, the perpetrator(s) decided to use spray paint on the brick and this time the message stated, “Die Nigger”

For those of you that don’t know, I am a black man who lives in Pea Ridge Arkansas: a predominately white town. I also work/serve at a mostly white church. (By mostly, I mean about 99.4 percent 🙂)

If you recall, sometime last year I wrote a post proclaiming that racism in America still exist. (Racism Post) These two incidents, however, have been pretty sobering for me. On both of these occasions, I happen to be the guy who was scheduled to preach that particular Sunday. I’ve managed to preach both times, despite the obvious distraction. This past Sunday was actually youth Sunday, so I had a lot of responsibility and worrying about this externally really wasn’t an option. We talked about it with the congregation, and made them aware of the situation. (Which was good. My church family is wonderful and I have gotten a lot of encouraging hugs, calls, notes, and even kisses 😉)

I am going to do something that I almost never do on this thing or in life in general. I am going open up and tell you how I really feel about the situation. Not what I think, but what I feel. That’s hard for me…First let me tell you what I think. Obviously, I think whoever did this is an ignorant fool. Honestly, that’s putting it very mildly. I think it’s really unfortunate that someone has so much anger that they feel like they need to or have a right to write such hateful words on others property.

I feel hurt. That may sound weird, but I do. I work really hard and that’s mostly because it’s what God has called me to do. I pour myself into my work, which are people. I have worked and will continue to work, very hard to build, maintain and nurture relationships with those around me. I think that despite me, God is doing some incredible things in Pea Ridge, and at my church. I am blessed to be a part of that. It hurts that anyone (even if they are a fool, which is obvious) would do anything to violate or harm that progress. I feel violated. That was hard to type, in fact, I erased it 3 times, but it’s true. My church is where I minister and it’s my passion and my love. Someone violated that and that violates me. (Not to mention that the violation was aimed at me)

I feel a lot of things, and it’s taken me longer to gather my barrens on this one. I preached and did all the things I was supposed to do on Sunday, but when I stopped to think about it, it hurt a lot. I really hate to admit that. I will say this; I’m not going anywhere until God tells me to. I’m here because He has called me here and ONLY HE can call me out of here. So, though this was a bit painful for me (and perhaps a little scary on some level) I will remain faithful to God’s calling. Thank you Jesus for the incredible support and love you have put around me! We will fight the good fight, and through Christ, continue to press toward the mark.

 

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12 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Tessy  |  January 29, 2008 at 9:33 am

    Noah,

    I am so glad that you wrote this. My family has just begun attending church. One of the reasons that we are excited to come is you. Our children, who are new to attending church, are really drawn to you and to the youth here. I know that it is not an accident that we are at this church, hearing you and Brother Al, telling us about the Lord. It is a terrible thing that has happened to you, but I hope that you know everyone loves and respects you at this church and we are very upset at what they did. We are so thankful that you are here, ministering to our children. Please know we are all behind you and would do anything for you.

  • 2. Kelly  |  January 29, 2008 at 5:13 pm

    This greatly appals me and you are being very nice in calling the person who did this a fool. I could think of several other choice words to say, but I won’t. You are an amazing man of God and I pray that you will fight the good fight and remember that the true battle is not of flesh and bone, this is a much more serious battle being waged in the spritual realm. Keep up the good work and I will be praying for you!

  • 3. Pam  |  January 30, 2008 at 9:30 am

    Noah, I am shocked and sick to know, that is what was put on our building. My heart hurts. I am sitting here not even knowing what to say. THIS IS A SICK PERSON!!!!!
    Please know that you are not alone, I feel blessed that God brought you to us. We will not tolerate this ignorance. I love you and am praying for you and our church. I know this is rambling, still in shock…..

  • 4. Noah  |  January 30, 2008 at 1:17 pm

    Hey, thanks everyone for your encouraging words! Know that they are very appreciated!

  • 5. Marcia  |  January 30, 2008 at 4:08 pm

    Hey Noah, I am really saddened by your post. My heart goes out to you and to this person as well because I can’t quite imagine what it must be like to live with such hatred. God have mercy.

    We love you and would love to see you soon!! Hint, hint!

  • 6. Mark Dawson  |  January 31, 2008 at 3:42 pm

    Hey Noah,
    I am sorry man. I don’t really know what to say. I think that your reaction is really brave and patient. We will pray for you tonight. The Lord uses you to inspire me. Thanks.
    -Mark Dawson, on behalf of Micah Dekorne, Ryan Likes, and Andy Yi

  • 7. Mike & Mary Beth  |  February 2, 2008 at 3:12 pm

    Noah,
    You are an inspiring and anointed man of God and our Church and this community are blessed to have you. We love you, we are proud to have you in our Church family and as our personal friend. We will continue to pray for you, your ministry, our Church, and we also pray that whomever is behind these awful acts will feel God’s conviction press on them with unbearable force. We are here for you.

  • 8. Chris  |  February 2, 2008 at 5:49 pm

    You responded in a way that few people would (most people I think would not have handled it as well).

    This kind of thing confuses me, but it also serves as a remember to how messed up the world is.

  • 9. Lindsey  |  February 3, 2008 at 9:14 pm

    Hi, Noah. I just got off the phone with mom and she informed me of all this. I came to your site to tell you that I will be praying for you and this fool ferverently! Just thinking about it again is going to get me all crying, so I better just leave it at that. Our God is so big!! He holds you tight!! I praise God for you and your faith!! Thank you, Jesus, for holding Noah in your righteous right hand!

  • 10. Mia (care group member/friend of Shay Jenkins  |  February 3, 2008 at 11:43 pm

    “In conclusion, be strong in the Lord [be empowered through your union with Him]; draw your strength from Him [that strength which his boundless might provides].” Ephesians 6:10

    Be encouraged my Brother in Christ, you know that God has got your back!!!!!!

  • 11. Nina  |  February 7, 2008 at 2:36 pm

    Noah,
    i don’t know you, but Lindsey has told us about what has been happening in Pea Ridge and I wanted you to know that you (and your dog) are now in the thoughts and prayers of a whole bunch of shocked and appalled people in Springfield MO (which is only 94 percent white. ha ha).
    be strong, be brave, but please do not be foolishly brave. take all the precautions you can and accept any assistance that is offered you.
    nina

  • 12. Danae  |  February 7, 2008 at 10:37 pm

    Noah,

    I too am a friend of Lindsey’s (and Nina’s) and even though we have never met, want you to know that I am thinking of, and praying for you. I’ve felt so sad since hearing what has happened to you and your church. I think we all want to believe that this ignorance and despicable behavior no longer exists in our country. But obviously, we still have a lot of work to do. I wish you the best of luck and will keep you, and your dog, in my prayers.

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Stuff I am reading:

The Ultimate Priority
The Ultimate Priority
John MacArthur

How Soul Change Leads to Social Change
The Heart of Racial Justice: How Soul Change Leads to Social Change
Brenda Salter Mcneil

The Dangerous Illusion of a Manageable Deity
The Trivialization of God: The Dangerous Illusion of a Manageable Deity
Donald W. McCullough

Books I want to read soon….(In the on deck circle)

Making Disciples a Few at a Time
Transforming Discipleship: Making Disciples a Few at a Time
Greg Ogden


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